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Stop One: Splash Mountain Children can't wait to reach the 40 inch tall height requirement to ride aboard this fun, sweet romp through a Disney classic they've never seen! Never has there been such a love for an attraction based on characters and stories that so few people even know! Splash Mountain opened in 1992, 6 years after the final theatrical re-release of Disney's 1946 film, “Song of the South” to an audience who may have been familiar with childhood storybooks and records of the happy-go-lucky Brer Rabbit and his ever-hungry foes, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. But, most had never seen the original film that inspired this great Mountain in Frontierland. It's one of the best loved attractions in all of the Magic Kingdom, featuring over 68 audio-animatronics and the largest animatronic prop in all of the World: the Mississippi Showboat that guests of the Railroad can glimpse as they pass through. Riders on this log adventure hear three famous songs from the movie: “How Do You Do?,” “Everybody Has a Laughing Place,” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and take an up-close look into 15 scenes from the original screenplay that come to life between wet, dark, thrilling drops. However, unless you and your family are among the few who have had the pleasure of viewing this sweet motion picture, it is likely that you will only be mildly entertained by the adorable scenery as you await the big plunge! Many kids and adults alike are too concerned if “this next drop” is the “big one” that is viewed from outside the mountain to even pay the storyline much notice the first time it's ridden. For these reasons, to get your best value from Splash Mountain, it will benefit you to explore the story and dive deeper into the history of this masterpiece. Walt Disney grew up hearing the wonderful folk-stories about the adventures of the forest animals, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, Br'er Bear and their friends. He loved the funny escapades of Br'er Rabbit and imagined that one day when he was able, they would make a great animated motion picture or series. That time would come when Walt decided to make “Song of the South” and combine live actors with animated sequences to tell the stories of Uncle Remus, based on the books by Joel Chandler Harris. The decision to combine live action with his formerly preferred method of animation was almost entirely a financial one. The result was beautiful with bright, vivid artwork by renowned Disney artist, Mary Blair of “It's a Small World” fame among many other works. As with all things Disney, no detail was overlooked as Blair and others traveled to Georgia to experience first hand the red of the mud and the beauty of the southern countryside. Joel Chandler Harris, the author of Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892) and Uncle Remus: New Stories of the Old Plantation (1905), the two books on which “Song of the South” was loosely based, was born the son of a single mother in Eatonton, Georgia in 1845. At age 13, Joel quit school when he was offered an apprenticeship by Joseph Addison Turner, owner of nearby Turnwold Plantation and proprietor of the local newspaper, The Countryman. Joel worked as the “printer's devil,” another term for printing apprentice, for his clothing, room and board. While not at work, Joel spent most of his time in the slaves' quarters. It was there he felt most at home. He often felt awkward and out of place in the “big house” and he loved the warm familiarity of his friends Uncle George, Aunt Crissy and Old Harbert among other slaves. Joel had a love for words and the words of his friends, the story-tellers, kept him mesmerized for hours. They told old African tales of animals who had human qualities, much like Aesop's fables. The tales always had a moral to the story, with zany Br'er Rabbit out-witting his oppressors, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. Little Br'er Rabbit would often say he would “use his head instead of his foots” as he worked smarter instead of harder. Years later, when the The Countryman job was over, Harris decided to write down the stories told to him by the former slaves to preserve this important oral tradition for generations to come. He wrote in the vernacular of the story-tellers of the past that he had listened to so well and taken to heart, not to poke fun, but to preserve their dialect in written form as voice recorders were not an option. “Song of the South” is set in the Reconstruction period of history, post Emancipation. Uncle Remus, the hero protagonist of the story is not a slave, as many have mistakenly assumed. He is, however, a worker on a plantation, living in a cabin as part of his compensation. A 7 year old boy, Johnny, played by Bobby Driscoll (who was the model and voice of Peter Pan in the Walt Disney animated movie), arrives on the plantation for an extended visit. He is under the impression that his parents and he will be visiting Grandmother together but soon finds out that his father will be leaving them to return to Atlanta to work. Upon learning this news, Johnny is distraught and attempts to run away to find his father. Before he gets very far, he meets Uncle Remus, a kindly older man who works on the plantation and lives in a cabin on the property. Uncle Remus obviously has a way with children and they love him as well. He packs some food for the journey and offers to accompany Johnny but first tells him a story about Br'er Rabbit and his attempt to run away from his troubles. Johnny is enraptured with Uncle Remus's tales, as were the children of the generation before him who also grew up listening to sweet Uncle Remus. He listens and takes to heart the message Uncle Remus is conveying through his story, then decides not to run away from his troubles, but to remain on the plantation instead. Soon, Johnny makes two more friends, Toby and Ginny, both children close to his age. Toby is an African American boy who lives on the plantation and Ginny is a poor white girl who lives down the road. Ginny's brothers, Joe and Jake, are mean-spirited bullies who are unkind to the other kids. Joe and Jake seem to be the real-life manifestation of Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear in Uncle Remus's stories. Uncle Remus continues to tell stories to the children of Br'er Rabbit and how he out-witted Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear time and again. Throughout the screenplay, we hear three stories from Uncle Remus Tales: “Br'er Fox and the Peanut Patch,” “Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby” and “The Laughing Place.” Johnny's mother becomes the villain of the movie when she tells Uncle Remus to stop telling stories to Johnny and ultimately to stay away. At this point, Uncle Remus decides to leave the plantation. The story of “Song of the South” comes to a climax when Johnny is critically injured and Uncle Remus returns with his stories of the familiar Br'er Rabbit helping Johnny to recover. His father also returns and Johnny is happy once again. As the movie draws to a close, Uncle Remus watches as Johnny, Toby and Ginny skip along singing Br'er Rabbit's anthem, “Zippity Doo Da” and Br'er Rabbit and other characters formerly limited to Uncle Remus's imagination, appear alongside the children singing and dancing. Uncle Remus, in surprised response says “It's the truth! It's actual! Everything is satifactual!” And, today, millions of guests sing those words as they trollop through the Magic Kingdom, hoping to catch a ride down into the Briar Patch!
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Copyright 2016 Pencilsandpixiedust.com